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May 30, 2006

Return of the Soap Opera... minus the soap!

C'mon P&G, you started the whole soap opera thing... you're missing the boat on this one.

There are a number of regressive developments which harken back to a charming time in television history... when a single sponsor underwrote an entire show. (Texaco Star Theatre anyone?)

Well, the model appears to be making a comeback. Here a few examples that have popped up recently:

1. Budweiser sponsors JibJab
A little birdy told me that the King of Beers is actually sponsoring the entirety of JibJab's output, though the visible sponsorship is tied to the "official download area of Real Men of Genius" tv spots. The humor of these spots is particularly in line with JibJab humor, so that works.

What's boggles the mind is how political JibJab is... does Uncle Bud ever call up and ask the boys to kindly remove an offensive cartoon, or is their overall sponsorship hidden and made to appear only alive in the official BUD area. Hmmm. If anyone has any insight on this... drop us a line.

2. Snapple buys entire ad inventory for 6 weeks at a couple of New England Radio Stations.
Dubbed "Brandcasting" Snapple's move allows them complete control over the message and presumably the content. Hey if you have the money and want to spend it this way, why not. I'm just not sure as a content provider, having a single sugar daddy is such a great thing... at least from an artistic integrity point of view... but then look at TV these days... integrity! HAH!

3. Bill Mahr's new AMAZON TV SHOW!!! (No really!)
This is the purest form of the form. Much like brandcasting pioneer BMW Films of ancient (circa 2000 A.D.) Web Days (BTW, you can no-longer download the films... WHAT ARE THEY THINKING??? Don't they realize there are sites like THIS out there?)

Will the Maher/Bezos power-duo find a balance between infommercial, ABC-style "you're fired" censorship and HBO's cuss-all-you-want, screw-the-networks attitude? My instinct is that it will pretend to be the latter, but play more like a "set it and forget it" half hour. Damn that chicken is juicy!

Will artists like Maher keep taking these deals if it DOESN'T allow them to speak their mind? Probably... they'll justify it as "shooting a commercial." It doesn't have to be good, or art... But then if it sucks, who's going to watch? We understand stars need to pay the bills, but these "shows" have a real opportunity to ruin a... REAL OPPORTUNITY!

Keep watching this space... first products in your movies, now movies in your products. WHEN WILL THE MADNESS END?????

May 26, 2006

Major "Huh?"

Have a look at the second story in today's
Adweek/IQ Briefing
entitled "Marketers Wary of Emerging Media"

Can I get a big ole collective "huh?" from the audience. Now how 'bout some groans.

Thanks for playing.

Here's a new thought (said from atop a soapbox constructed entirely of PDAs and hospital-thin cellphones): perhaps it should be a corporate obligation to embrace emerging media (if only to demonstrate to our consumers that we are willing to look at new ways of communicating and playing with them.

And while we're at it, why is "emerging media" only talked about from a digital perspective.
Perhaps a branded urinal cake (with appropriate messaging, of course) will be as surprising and delightful to the targeted consumer as seeing their favorite brand reduced to pixels.

C'mon marketers. Jump in. (or at least toe in)
Try it. You'll like it. And so will your consumers.

May 24, 2006

Airing their dirty laundry... the right way!

Unilever's ALL brand teamed up with Alcone Marketing Group to roll out their duds wrapped around a NYC bus with "Spot the Bus" sweepstakes. The campagin used consumers cell phones to record the bus' location and enter them into the sweeps.

An exciting promotion all in all, assuming you are standing upwind of the vehicle!

VIA: PROMO Article

May 14, 2006

Rolling Billboards, for cats!

Here's the ultimate job: Drive an RC car around a mall all day and get paid for it! Soon to be in the classified near you! Check out this post from the AdGang at MIT on mini-rolling Billborads. With MIT's swarmbot technology, imagine little herds of free roaming ad clusters. My inner media buyer is getting very confused.

via MIT Ad Lab

May 13, 2006

Team buying in China... let's play here!

Interesting article in the Christian Science Monitor points out a trend called Team Buying where groups meet online, fan out to a bunch of stores, find the best looking place, then flash mob/descend on the joint to negotiate a "Group Discount"

Hey if big corps get group discounts, why not flash mobs... they're there, with cash and ready to buy... what are you going to do shun them?

The Mayans loved monkeys... they WERE advanced!

It turns out the our Work at The Darwin Group melds quite nicely with the Mayan theory on the evolution of the cosmos (we are leaving the age of Power and entering the age of Integrity, BTW.)

I also learned that Monkeys played a big part in their god and belief system. Check out the Monkey Twin Gods!

But really, who could say no to a monkey if it asked to be a deity?

Certainly not I!

May 12, 2006

A lens to focus the masses (of customer noisemakers)

Just discovered a blog which I love the concept of: CUSTOMER EVANGELISTS. Pretty cool work by Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba where they encourage the everyconsumer to grab the power the Net rightfully affords them and start marketing revolutions.

They provide tools, tips, presentations and links to others doing the people's good work.

So marketers that may think that *SOME* individual may or may not directly affect your business... be scared, be very scared... they're UNIONIZING!

May 8, 2006

Time-Shifting, to go... It's almost like the future!

Well, we never got our flying cars. Moving sidewalks only exist in airports and most people avoid them, and time travel seems to only exist in Stephen Hawking's mind.

That said, Tivo brought us the possibility of watching WHATEVER we wanted WHENEVER we wanted and even the ability to (GASP!) skip the ads.

A pile of new gadgets (Video iPod, Video-enabled phones, and the new boxes mentioned in this Time Magazine article) promise to now add WHERE EVER to what and when.

I personally think that mini-devices call for a new "mini-media" which will allow for a complete entertainment experience in the 5-10 minutes most people have when they are waiting for something (like a plane, train or dental exam) where these devices will be most likely used.

I mean, do you REALLY want to watch a full hour of "Desperate Housewives" on a 3" screen with headphones... if you have that much time, run into your local circuit city and watch reruns of the big game in HD.

May 3, 2006

The internet version of the "Golden Ticket"

http://www.promomagazine.com/images/newsletter/hershey.ebay.jpegVery interesting campaign from Hershey's & Ebay where you collect codes from wrappers to bid on items on ebay. Will have to check out if it pings the lameness meter, but the concept here is a great one. Having been a fan of the Pepsi iTunes promo (especially since you could "hack" the bottles and win every time) this should be interesting to play with.

Source: Promo Magazine Newsletter

May 2, 2006

Participatory media kicking mass media's booty.

 Very interesting roundup of articles in the Economist which describes the shift from media consumption to media production by individuals. The impact on marketing and society as a whole will continue to have profound effects. The days of companies merely paying lipservice to listening to their customers are soon coming to an end... good day, Sir... I SAID, Good DAY!
Among the audience | Economist.com

WiFi gets creepy (ant least that's what we'll tell our bosses.)

So there's this tech out there that let's you find people who are near you (using WiFi or course) read a profile on the ones that interest you, and then hook up.

Of course this is obviously a professional tool, and will be extremely valuable in, say, a trade show setting. I'm sure it will be a rare minority who will use it for FLASH DATING™. (You heard it here first)

As for the marketing impact, this is yet another example of the Internet bounding off the desktop and into people's pockets. Things are starting to look very interesting.

May 1, 2006

$100 Computer

You've probably read about this, but if not, this is a MAJOR step forward fo undeveloped countries should the team at the Media Lab succeed. It uses a crank to charge the battery if you don't have Juice and their goal is to do an initial run of 1,000,000 computers to be sold directly to the ministries of education of developing countries to distribute to the children. Very, very interesting implications for the global community. Learn more at LapTop.Org